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Bonus delays an indictment

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THE delay by the government in paying civil servants bonuses has not come as a surprise because it is common knowledge that the economy is on its knees.

Civil servants are understandably frustrated because the government has not been able to keep its word on the 13th cheque.

Several conflicting statements have been issued about bonuses since November 2014, with different pay dates being given.

The government paid the bulk of the security forces bonuses last month but the rest of the civil service is being kept guessing by the authorities. Teachers are already threatening that they would not return to class when schools open next week unless they are paid bonuses.

Their anger is understandable because authorities have shown disdain for the hard working employees by not honouring their promises on payment dates.

The lack of funds to pay workers on time is a symptom of a deep problem in the economy, yet there is no indication that the government has a plan to take us out of this dark hole. Instead, President Robert Mugabe and his family are holidaying in the Far East obviously at the taxpayer’s expense.

For the president and his government ministers it is business as usual while government workers are expected to scrounge around for money to return to work and pay school fees for their children.

Government business actually stopped around October last year when Zanu PF infighting that reached the climax at the congress intensified.

If Mugabe cared about the suffering of ordinary people he would have suspended his annual vacation.

He would have also done the same for his ministers. Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his Cabinet to skip New Year holidays to deal with the economic problems bedeviling his country.

His justification was that government could not afford long holidays in the middle of a deepening economic crisis.

However, in the case of Zimbabwe, Mugabe is not just on a monthlong holiday, but flew to a very expensive tourist destination.

So much for a government that cares for its people.

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